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Death penalty abolishment

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At least eight states are considering legislation to abolish the death penalty this year. The driving factor? Cost.

Studies in state after state, including Texas, have indicated that, contrary to popular belief, prosecuting a death penalty case from pre-trial to execution costs about three times more than a non-death penalty case.

With the provision in 2005 of life without the possibility of parole, many believe that Texas can be protected from murderers and the money more effectively spent on murder victim family programs and more police protection and mental health/addiction services to help prevent these murders in the first place.

But Ellis County has sent only three people to death row since 1976.

So, how effective is the cost argument here? Not very.

At least not for me. I oppose the death penalty because it is unnecessary to execute someone to keep us safe and, with Dallas County’s parade of DNA exonerees, it spares us the unthinkable possibility of executing an innocent.

By the way, Texas is one of those states with an abolition bill: HB 682.

Paula Keeth

Glenn Heights

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